Life went sideways for Ray Neighbor one night before Christmas when he decided to take an warm, idling Chevrolet for a joyride -- only to find out it belonged to "Santa," who was using it to deliver presents to needy kids. From there he got his baptism in jail, and was shipped off to the Navy, where he became a lifeguard in Hawaii. He was in and out of prisons for decades, fighting for his dignity and self-respect in a shadow-world that most people can hardly imagine. He was a dealer and user on the streets, experimenting with a pharmacy of illegal drugs, finally becoming addicted to heroin. In his adventures on the road, he rode the rails and nearly died in a freezing boxcar during a Colorado snowstorm. He lived in a hollow tree for a while and joined a hunt for sunken treasure. He finally fought his way free of addiction and joined the normal world as a devoted husband, father and kids’ baseball coach. He became a black-belt karate competitor, and was selected from among thousands of co-workers as the humanitarian employee of the year by General Electric Aircraft Engines. Then on Sept. 11, 2001, while the rest of the world was being rocked by terrorist attacks on America, Ray Neighbor’s world was turned upside down by the first devastating symptoms of incurable pancreatic cancer. His honest, unflinching personal stories about his battle for recovery have been a comfort and blessing to hundreds of pancreatic cancer patients and their families. He has a natural gift for writing that makes his stories come alive in vivid scenes stretching from his tiny hometown of Bucyrus, Ohio, to the wild streets of San Francisco in the drug-drenched 60s, across the mountains and prairies of America and back to his suburban-Cincinnati home in Milford, Ohio. Ray Neighbor’s stories are funny and frightening and heart-achingly sad. They are as real as the man. They will make you love this Neighbor.
About Ray Neighbor
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Published February 22, 2013
Biographies & Memoirs.